[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 22 (Thursday, February 2, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 5177-5178]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-2075]



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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

22 CFR Parts 22 and 51

[Public Notice: 7779]
RIN 1400-AC58


Schedule of Fees for Consular Services, Department of State and 
Overseas Embassies and Consulates

AGENCY: Bureau of Consular Affairs, State.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This rule adopts as final the interim final rule published in 
the Federal Register on June 28, 2010 (Public Notice 7068). 
Specifically, the rule made changes to the Schedule of Fees for 
Consular Services (Schedule) for a number of different fees. This 
rulemaking adopts as final the changes to these fees.

DATES: Effective February 2, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Polly Hill, Office of the Comptroller, 
Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State; phone: 202-663-1301, 
telefax: 202-663-2526; email: fees@state.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: For the complete explanation of the 
background of this rule, including the rationale for the change, the 
authority of the Department of State (``Department'') to make the fee 
changes in question, and an explanation of the study that produced the 
fee amounts, consult the prior public notices cited in the 
``Background'' section below.

Background

    The Department published a proposed rule in the Federal Register, 
75 FR 6321, on February 9, 2010, proposing to amend sections of 22 CFR 
part 22. Specifically, the rule proposed changes to the Schedule of 
Fees for Consular Services and provided 30 days for comments from the 
public. In response to requests by the public for more information and 
a further opportunity to submit comments, the Department subsequently 
published a supplementary notice in the Federal Register, 75 FR 14111, 
on March 24, 2010 (Public Notice 6928). The supplementary notice 
provided a more detailed explanation of the Cost of Service Model 
(``CoSM''), previously referred to as the Cost of Service Study or 
``CoSS,'' which is the activity-based costing model that the Department 
used to determine the proposed fees for consular services, and reopened 
the comment period for an additional 15 days. During this and the 
previous 30 day comment period, 1,797 comments were received, either by 
email or through the submission process at www.regulations.gov.
    The Department analyzed the 1,797 comments in the interim final 
rule at 75 FR 36522, on June 28, 2010 (Public Notice 7068) and does not 
reproduce that analysis here. Instead, the current notice addresses 
only the four additional comments received in the further 60 days 
during which the comment period for this interim final rule was open 
(see Analysis of Comments, below). In total, the public was given 105 
days to comment on this change to the Schedule of Fees and a total of 
1,801 comments were received.
    This rule establishes the following fees for the categories below, 
as determined by the CoSM:

--Passport Book Application Services for Applicants Age 16 or Over 
(including renewals): from $55 to $70
--Additional Passport Visa Pages: from $0 to $82
--Passport Book Security Surcharge (Enhanced Border Security Fee): from 
$20 to $40
--File Search and Verification of U.S. Citizenship: from $60 to $150
--Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the 
United States: from $65 to $100
--Administrative Processing of Formal Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship: 
from $0 to $450*
--Passport Card Application Services for Applicants Age 16 or Over 
(including renewals): from $20 to $30
--Passport Card Application Services for Applicants Under Age 16: from 
$10 to $15
--Making arrangements for a Deceased Non-U.S. Citizen Family Member: 
from a charge of Consular time spent on the service, previously $265 an 
hour plus expenses to $200 plus expenses
--Immigrant Visa Application for Immediate Relative and Family 
Preference Applications: from $355 to $330
--Immigrant Visa Application for Employment-Based Applications: from 
$355 to $720
--Immigrant Visa Application for Other Visa Classes: from $355 to $305
--Diversity Visa Program Fee: from $375 to $440
--Affidavit of Support Review (only when reviewed domestically): from 
$70 to $88
--Determining Returning Resident Status: from $400 to $380
--Immigrant Visa Security Surcharge: from $45 to $74
--Providing Notarial Service: First service (seal): from $30 to $50
--Providing Notarial Service: Each additional seal: from $20 to $50
--Certification of a True Copy or That No Record of an Official File 
Can be Located: First copy: from $30 to $50
--Certification of a True Copy or That No Record of an Official File 
Can be Located: Each additional copy: from $20 to $50
--Provision of Documents, Certified Copies of Documents, and Other 
Certifications by the Department of State (domestic): from $30 to $50
--Authentications (by posts abroad): from $30 to $50
--Processing Letters Rogatory and Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act 275 
(FSIA) Judicial Assistance Cases: from $735 to $2,275
--Scheduling/Arranging Appointments for Depositions: from $475 to 
$1,283
--Attending or Taking Depositions, or Executing Commissions to Take 
Testimony: from $265 per hour plus expenses to $309 per hour plus 
expenses
--Providing Seal and Certification of Depositions: from $70 to $415
--Consular Time Charges: from $265 to $231
    Administrative processing of formal renunciation of U.S. 
citizenship was previously a no-fee service. Under the new fee 
structure, the renunciant must now pay a fee for this service. The 
Department has decided that the renunciant should pay this fee at the 
visit during which he or she swears the oath of renunciation. The 
proposed and interim final rules referred to it as ``Documentation of 
formal renunciation of U.S. citizenship,'' at Item 8 of their 
respective reproductions of the Schedule of Fees. See 75 FR 36522, 
36532; 75 FR 6321, 6328. This final rule makes a technical correction 
to the title of the service, labeling it ``Administrative processing of 
formal renunciation of U.S. citizenship.''
    Please note there are two additional clarifications the Department 
of State is making in this final rule. First, the Immigrant Visa 
application for employment-based applications is based on I-140 and I-
526 petitions and also includes investor visas. The interim final rule 
incorrectly stated that employment-based visas are based on the I-140 
petition only. Second, since publishing the interim final rule on June 
28, 2010 (75 FR 36522), the Department reexamined the CoSM's inputs to 
the Diversity Visa Lottery Fee. Upon reexamination, it was decided that 
the present fee adequately accounts for the costs of processing the 
immigrant visa application and enhanced security. The Department, 
therefore, has decided it will not charge the separate Immigrant Visa 
Application Processing Fee or Immigrant Visa Security Surcharge to

[[Page 5178]]

Diversity Visa Lottery selectee-applicants and will amend the Schedule 
of Fees to so reflect.

Analysis of Comments

    In the additional 60 day period since the publication of the 
interim final rule, four additional comments were received. Three 
commenters expressed concern over the fee increase for extra passport 
visa pages. Two of those commenters traveled frequently for work and 
noted that this would be an additional cost. The third commenter, an 
American citizen living overseas, expressed concern over the large cost 
to his family to receive additional visa pages. A suggestion was made 
by one of the commenters to waive the additional visa pages fee every 
other year for business people who travel frequently.
    As explained in the supplementary notice, 75 FR 14111, 14113, the 
cost of this service includes not only the pages themselves, but the 
employee time spent affixing the pages into a passport, endorsing the 
passport, and performing a quality-control check on the expanded 
passport; also the costs of trained labor, supervisors, and overhead; 
of performing a name check of the applicant prior to providing the 
service; and a share of the overall costs of no-fee emergency services 
provided to Americans overseas--costs incorporated into and assigned 
across all passport book services. The Department does offer a larger 
passport for travelers who anticipate that they will need more visa 
pages. Any passport applicant may request a larger book (52 pages, 
instead of the standard 28 pages) at the time of application for no 
additional fee. Information about this option is widely available to 
customers both domestically and overseas. Because the Department's 
passport processing operations must be self-sustaining as much as 
possible and has accordingly set these fees at a level that will allow 
cost recovery, the Department is not in a position to grant a fee 
waiver to frequent business travelers.
    The final comment was directed toward the fee increase for the 
passport book. The commenter stated that the fee increase influenced 
whether she would renew her passport book and her decision to travel 
abroad. The Department is aware of the financial impact this fee 
increase may have on individuals and businesses; however, the 
Department must recover its costs from the passport services it 
provides. The Department also maintains that the increase in passport 
fees is not significant in comparison with the overall costs of 
international travel.

Conclusion

    The Department has adjusted the fees to ensure that sufficient 
resources are available to meet the costs of providing consular 
services in light of the CoSM's findings that the U.S. Government was 
not fully covering its costs for providing these consular services. 
Pursuant to OMB guidance, the Department endeavors to recover the cost 
of providing services that benefit specific individuals, as opposed to 
the general public. See OMB Circular A-25, ] 6(a)(1), (a)(2)(a). For 
this reason, the Department has adjusted the Schedule.

Regulatory Findings

    For a summary of the regulatory findings and analyses regarding 
this rulemaking, please refer to the findings and analyses published 
with the interim final rule, which can be found at 75 FR, at 36529, 
which are adopted herein. The rule became effective July 13, 2010. As 
noted above, the Department has considered the comments submitted in 
response to the interim final rule, and does not adopt them. Thus, the 
rule remains in effect without modification.
    In addition, as noted in the interim final rule, this rule was 
submitted to and reviewed by OMB pursuant to E.O. 12866. The Department 
of State has also considered this rule in light of Executive Order 
13563, dated January 18, 2011, and affirms that this regulation is 
consistent with the guidance therein.
    Accordingly, the Interim Rule amending 22 CFR parts 22 and 51, 
which was published in the Federal Register, 75 FR 36522, on June 28, 
2010 (Public Notice 7068), is adopted as final without change.

    Dated: January 23, 2012.
Patrick F. Kennedy,
Under Secretary of State for Management, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 2012-2075 Filed 2-1-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-06-P